Our difference

We’re rigorous. Unafraid. Ready to dive in, push past the doubters, scale the hurdles. It’s in our DNA.

Swinburne was founded over 100 years ago by local thought-leaders. Those who believed in an entrepreneurial mindset and wanted to positively impact our economy and society. It’s the same passion and vision that underpins everything we do today.

Focus on innovation

We believe innovation occurs when divergent concepts come together to form a solution. That’s why we’re committed to three key areas of innovation: design, manufacturing and digital technology. When these converge, ideas ignite.

  • Design-led thinking creates the environment for teams to be built, problems to be unpacked and solutions to be developed
  • Advanced Manufacturing integrates digital technologies that automate production and enable businesses to be globally competitive
  • Digital transformation connects customers with technology and drives the use of data to improve productivity and wellbeing

Design Innovation

Design Factory Melbourne exists at the forefront of the innovation pipeline. It brings together the best minds from across a global network to create impact in industry, research and education.

Using design-led thinking and a process of co-creation, entrepreneurs and industry partners work together to achieve greater impact with their business, products or services, and students gain the skills and experience to be future-ready.

Interdisciplinary industry co-creation

As part of their methodology, Design Factory Melbourne can help you to:

  • Define the business problem you are trying to solve, including the business realities that govern your minimal viable product (MVP) such as financial drivers and market dynamics
  • Create a team culture that supports and enables design-led innovation for business
  • Assist in the building of actions plans to realise project success
  • Help create business-to-business partnerships

Design Factory Melbourne also holds a range of activities and workshops to help build the connections that foster innovation

  • Business Breakfasts
  • Business Workshops
  • Innovation ‘Speed Dating’ sessions
  • Brainstorming workshops

Contact us to discover ways to collaborate with Design Factory Melbourne.

Design Factory Melbourne partners

Our project partners come from corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors. Past partners include CSIRO, Deloitte, Visy, Kmart Australia, Anex, ISM Interiors, Involve Audio, Kone, Philips, Biolan, MetsäWood and Coles.

Design Factory Melbourne is part of the Global Design Factory Network and has also partnered with Stanford University in the ME310 Design Innovation program an initiative where students challenge the status quo to ‘futurecast’ cutting-edge social and commercial solutions.

Assoc Prof Anita Kocsis


Assoc Prof Anita Kocsis

As director of DFM since 2003, Anita is at the forefront of industry and university co-creation.

More about Anita 

"Real-world problems driven by a rapidly evolving Internet of Things in a global economy require a cross-disciplinary approach to deliver effective solutions. We bring different disciplines together that don't usually meet. Collaboration is fundamental and by working through problems with our business partners we are seeing how companies can work together to value-add and improve their bottom line."

Read the full article 

Case study: A great milk crate


VISY challenged us to redesign the humble milk crate to reduce the costs of storage, cleaning and theft. After assessing four diverse concepts, VISY is further developing a flat-pack, one-way, recyclable packaging solution that significantly reduces material and transport costs, offers safer manual handling, negates cleaning and theft issues.

Manufacturing Innovation

Industry 4.0

The next industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, utilises advances in communication and digital technologies to automate and control production processes.

Swinburne's Factory of the Future is teaming up with multinational manufacturers and small to medium Australian enterprises to develop an ‘industry ready’ pilot plant for the automated production of new high‐value composite parts made from carbon fibre.

Our industry partners will work alongside Swinburne academics and students in the facility to solve complex design, materials, automation and inspection challenges.

In line with our cross-disciplinary approach to innovation, experts in business model development and product marketing will assist SMEs to develop their capabilities and ultimately join the global composites supply chain.


Nico Adams
Director, Factory of the Future
e: nicoadams@swinburne.edu.au
t: +61 417 525 413

At Swinburne's Factory of the Future (FOF), professionals and entrepreneurs collaborate to develop new products and manufacturing methods that make businesses more productive and sustainable.

At the Factory of the Future, ideas become prototypes, and product development is taken to the next level.

5 specialist studios

  1. 3-D Visualisation and Design
  2. Rapid Manufacturing
  3. Advanced Inspection and Machining
  4. Biodevice Innovation
  5. Design for Resource Efficiency

In these studios you can:

  • explore intuitive real-time visualisation and interaction with realistic 3-D imagery
  • convert your digital concepts to metal, plastic or ceramic prototypes in our 3D Printing/Rapid Manufacturing Studio
  • develop high-quality components using our advanced machining capability and inspection equipment
  • produce innovative new devices and integrate components by utilising our expertise in electronics, optics, chemistry and biomaterials-handling
  • modify your recycling and manufacturing processes to maximise resource efficiency.

CSIRO Lab 22 Partnership


Swinburne and CSIRO have a long-standing relationship that was cemented in 2016 with the creation of the Swinburne-CSIRO Strategic Research Alliance. We focus on advanced manufacturing and materials, digital technologies, design and business innovation. We provide industry with access to facilities and capabilities to engage with high-tech research and development.


Digital Innovation

Data analytics can provide the key to unlocking innovation in business. Digital technology and big data are able to deliver astounding insights that can change the way an organisation operates.

At the Digital Innovation Lab, collaborators learn how to harness the power of digital technology and data and domain science to achieve transformative change for their enterprises.

Working with a team of innovators, developers, post-docs and students, our research and innovation projects include health innovation, smart cities, future manufacturing and social innovation.

Bondi Labs

One of Australia’s most innovative digital startups, Bondi Labs, joined Swinburne’s Innovation Precinct in 2016. Embedded within Swinburne’s Digital Innovation Lab, it focusses on cutting-edge external commercial research and development using pioneering software, virtual reality and augmented reality products.

Bondi Labs specialises in addressing global challenges and needs, with a particular focus on the health, biotechnology, biosecurity and environmental sectors.

As a startup, Bondi Labs have a unique understanding of the challenges inherent in building a commercially viable business.

“The vastly complex challenges facing the globe today require genuine collaboration based on complementary capabilities, shared values and an entrepreneurial culture that makes things happen.”
Bondi Labs’ founder, Jonathan Marshall

The Fire Station

The Swinburne Innovation Precinct extends across the whole university, but our front door and headquarters will be located in the Swinburne Innovation Hub (The Fire Station).

The former Fire Station on William Street, adjacent to our Hawthorn campus, has been redeveloped and restored. The station dates from 1910, just two years after Swinburne was first established as a technical institute.

It provides purpose-built spaces for teaching, innovation activities and events. Most importantly it encourages collaboration with and among the Design Factory Melbourne, our Incubator, Entrepreneurs in Residence and industry partners.

The design was created by H2O Architects.

The Fire Station
The Fire Station